"Don't claim you're sincere, just be it."
I remember learning how to write letters to people when I was younger. We started every letter with, "Dear [name]", and ended with, "Sincerely, [name]." I'm not sure I even knew back in the third grade what it meant to be sincere. I knew what it meant to be a rambunctious kid who preferred to goof off in class instead of learn. Sincerity, however, was not a quality I expressed much since I was more concerned about being a kid than I was about treating others with honesty and respect. To say I was rough around the edges would be an understatement.
I slowly learned the importance of being sincere throughout my adolescence and into adulthood. Even though I knew how to be sincere as a teenager and young adult, I reserved my respect and honesty for those who I felt deserved it. Otherwise, I was good at being a sincere asshole when I disagreed with others or they rubbed me the wrong way. Part of me took pride in the fact that I felt I was being authentic with people and not sugarcoating my feelings. People knew where I stood, but looking back I realize how rude I was being through my actions, tone and words.
I now see how mistreating others and not holding back did not win me much favor with those I interacted with. Maybe they knew how I felt, but I was this authentic jerk who left feelings out of the equation. I realized I was being sincerely rude. Once I started approaching people from a place of Love in my late 20's, I chose to stop being so harsh with my words. I chose to live by The Golden Rule. I found a way to be truthful and authentic toward others, but I was able to do it with tact and show more respect. I learned how I could still tell people how I feel without feeling the need to insult or belittle them. I can still be genuine and not feel the need to be fake.
I found there is a grey area between being rude and sincere. People are going to feel how they are going to feel. All I can do is monitor my words to make sure I'm always coming from a place of Love. Sometimes people may not be pleased with what we tell them, but it is up to them whether or not they feel slighted or offended. If we can be more tactful about it, without the need to sugarcoat or bend the truth to spare someone's feelings, we offer our sincerity. This way we can be more true to ourselves and others.